The senior players are driven by knowing what success looks like; the younger guys are motivated by excitement and it is a recipe that has the West Coast Eagles’ squad buzzing with energy.
As the senior group moved into day three of a pre-season community and training camp in picturesque Dunsborough in the State’s south-west even a relatively light day had the players’ enthusiasm levels at a high.
In this short month-long block of training leading into the Christmas break, senior coach Adam Simpson and his staff have been able move into early match simulation exercises because of the general physical condition of the squad.
While the players already on the list had a break from the formalities of a training regime they clearly did some advance work to ensure they could hit the ground running.
“The second year players are probably the ones you look at because they know what it’s like to have a proper off-season and get ready,” Simpson said after a short, sharp session at the Dunsborough sports precinct today. “All of the second year players look in pretty good shape, the squad looks a lot quicker than in previous years, which is exciting so we are doing are match sim a little bit earlier.
“Reuben (Ginbey)has stood out, Elijah (Hewett) up until he hurt his foot, Campbell Chesser those guys and then there’s senior boys who have done so much work during the break that they’re ready to go – McGovern, Barrass, Duggan and Oscar look in good shape.
“Jake (Waterman) used to set the standard with that (the pre-season time trial) and last year he got really ill so it was just a bit of reminder of what he can do. It was a new time trial this year, a little bit different and it suited him. But he’s backing it with the way he’s trained. He’s started pre-season really well.
“The general feel of improvement. We’re in the build so we need to get better, the older players who have had success are really driven to get better and the younger players don’t know any better.”
While the players engaged in a number of ball movement and contested drills, others moved in and out of the exercises depending on their training volumes.
Late in the session, during a tackling drill, exciting teenager Harley Reid received a cork to the quad which drew a bit of attention. But Simpson called for perspective as the focus fell on an ‘injury scare.’
“Everyone just has to calm down a little bit with the injuries,” Simpson said to the assembled media pack. “Harley has a corky. Today is a low day for us, a lot of guys are in and out of training so I wouldn’t read too much into injuries. I think we had 42 on the track on Monday but we have a couple of niggles here and there.
“Dom (Sheed) is out for a little while with his foot, young Archer Reid came in with as pre-existing issue with his knee and we are going to take it easy with him as well. Outside of that, Hewett will have a couple of weeks off legs with his foot, but we are pretty healthy.
“De-load day for Elliot (Yeo who took an early exit from the track). We need to relax a little bit because guys are going to be in and out around training.
“As much as we want to be healthy come round one we are going to have some ups and downs. At the moment we’re in a pretty good space.”